Interesting thoughts certainly, and I thank you for them. Contract work
would be the preference, if it wasn’t even more competitive than straight
employment. You might think that a customer would not care what a contractor
looks like, but most people focus on and frantically try to avoid anything
resembling risk. To them, anyone with an obvious disability is a risk, facts
Your thoughts on creating a specialized laptop for the Disabled are also
noble and well-reasoned. Too bad I cannot get very enthusiastic about it. To
me, this is the same fallacy that the rehab community in general falls into.
Much like the above, this is a situation where perception truly counts. A
potential customer or employer isn’t going to believe that an odd-looking
laptop can also allow its owner to do "real work." More to the point,
specialized mounting hardware pales in comparison to simple Velcro. Richard
Bernier of Dell is going to find out just how strong and versatile Velcro is
when I meet with him on Tuesday.
I regret that I don’t seem very positive in my response. I do still consider
myself a working man. However, I am compelled to acknowledge the reality
staring me down. At 51, I’d be unlikely to find work even if I was your
governor. So I’m searching for another sense of identity and purpose.
> —–Original Message—–
> From: Dr Pepper [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:44 PM
> To: Scott Royall
> Subject: Re: stuff
> > Sure, I’m interested. "Listening" does no harm.
> Ok, let’s see:
> 1. Have you considered becoming a contractor and bidding for contracts
> instead of looking for a job? You have programming skills, experience
> handling people, and the patience and understanding to break complex
> subjects down to explain to laypeople. Plus you seem to have a lot of
> 2. After reading your back and forth with Dell, it occurs to me that the
> hardware issue is much broader than the software one. However many people
> there are that could use speech synthesis, there are far more who are in
> wheelchairs, mobility scooters, or actually bedridden for whom physical
> placement of a computer is critical. Perhaps you could advise Dell on the
> creation of a "mountable" variant to the laptop.
> A: Some kind of attachment method such as a recessed strap post or pull
> B: IR or bluetooth external input devices available, like keyboards with
> extra large keys.
> C: Heavy duty multiposition locking hinges
> D: Adapters available for a wide variety of power sources.
> With the convenience of such a computer, people who could benefit from
> software might be more likely to get one. For that matter, maybe you could
> persuade Dell to offer it as a preinstall.
> Maybe you could get Microsoft on board too.
> 3. You could try marketing your program to places where more than one
> could use it. Like, say, that retirement village in San Antonio. Have one
> computer with the program available in a recreation room or library.
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